Although we don’t experience the cold winters many parts of the country do, winter pest problems are nonetheless a problem for homeowners in Las Vegas. Certain insects and pests often try to make their way indoors in the fall and winter to wait out the cooler months ahead. This can be a major nuisance for property owners, as no one wants to deal with an infestation this time of year. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to prevent these pests from getting inside in the first place. Keep reading for top tips from the team at Rentokil.
What Pests Are Common in the Winter?
With less drastic temperature changes, many pests are a year-round problem for homeowners in the Las Vegas area. That said, it’s important to know which ones may be looking to get inside your home this time of year. The most common culprits include:
House mice: These mice prefer secluded areas and will look to nest in your attic using insulation and other stored items.
Roof rats: Just as their name suggests, roof rats can squeeze their way indoors and up to the attic in your home.
Spiders: House spiders are typically harmless, but black widows are known to get indoors this time of year.
German cockroaches: As one of the most common roaches, they are known to be especially troublesome in the winter.
Preventing Winter Pest Problems
The key to avoiding overwintering pests is to deny them access inside in the first place. Trim overhanging tree branches, overgrown bushes, and vines away from your home to limit roof access to pests. In addition, secure your chimney with a chimney cap, and install wire mesh over any vents or roof openings. If you keep your garbage cans outdoors, make sure to keep them secure with tight-fitting lids. Lastly, keep everything organized in plastic bins in your attic. Look for gaps or openings and seal them with steel wool or caulk. A combination of these efforts should effectively keep all pests out of your attic and home through the winter months.
Attic Pests in Las Vegas
If you’re hearing odd noises in your attic, there’s a good chance you have unwelcome guests up there. Always call a professional pest control expert before investigating, as attic pest problems can be dangerous and hazardous to get rid of on your own. Contact the team at Rentokil today for more information!
You might be thinking mice and rats aren’t really a problem in Southern Nevada. Unfortunately, rodents are a year-round pest problem here in Las Vegas and Henderson. Believe it or not, rodents are actually a very common problem in the fall and winter months. This is because as our temperatures drop, rodents and other pests will look to make their way indoors to wait out the colder months. To avoid dealing with rodents inside your property this time of year, keep reading to learn Western Exterminator’s tips to keep them away!
Rodents in the Winter
Rodents are sneaky critters and often only come out at night when the house is at rest. Once they make their way inside and establish nests, you will start to see activity or at least signs of mice (or possibly roof rats). These common pests are resourceful creatures that can enter a building or home through the smallest opening or crack, and require very little space to travel inside. Mice can easily fit through spaces as small as a nickel!
Mice and roof rats seek shelter indoors, especially during winter months, and once inside can cause more than just an unpleasant infestation. Rodents put homes at risk for electrical fires by gnawing through wires. More frequently, though, rodents serve as vectors, carrying bacteria, such as salmonella, on their bodies and contaminating food sources, kitchen surfaces, and equipment. The common white-footed deer mouse is also known to transmit the potentially fatal Hantavirus.
Simple Rodent Prevention Tips
Fortunately, there are many ways you can proactively prevent and get rid of rodent infestations in your home. Our top ten tips to prevent rats and mice in the winter and all year long are as follows.
Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool, or a combination of both.
Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
Keep attics, garages, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the foundation and windows.
Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.
Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags, and other packages brought into the home.
Keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house.
If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.
How to Get Rid of Rodents in Las Vegas
If you spot evidence of a rodent infestation, do not hesitate to act to handle the problem. Rodents are known to reproduce quickly, and a small problem can turn into a big issue overnight if left untreated. For this reason, it’s always best to enlist the help of a professional rodent control company. Contact the experts at Western Exterminator of Las Vegas to learn how we can protect you from rats and mice!
The roof rat is the most common rodent to invade Las Vegas and Henderson homes and they can be very destructive. Roof rats, as their name indicates, like high places, building their nests outdoors in trees or block walls and indoors in attics or upper levels of the home. Roof rats are very good climbers and can get into the home by running along tree branches, cables or wires.
How Do I Know If I Have Roof Rats?
Rats are nocturnal — that is, they are most active at night — and they live in hidden areas, so you can have a major rat problem in your home even if you never see any. Because of this, you need to keep an eye – and an ear – out for signs of rodent presence. Inspect your yard and home thoroughly. If the answer to any of the following questions is yes, you may have a rat problem.
Do you see droppings, especially around dog or cat dishes or pet food containers?
Have you had visual sightings of roof rats on fences, block walls, trees or eaves?
Do you find hollowed citrus and other chewed fruit in your yard?
Do you hear scratching sounds from the attic after dusk?
Are your pets sometimes unsettled for no apparent reason?
Have you ever removed a drowned roof rat from your swimming pool?
Do you find dark smudge marks along block walls or outside patio areas?
Roof rat Control
Once rats have invaded your garden or landscaping, unless your house is truly rodent proof, it is only a matter of time before you find evidence of them indoors. Experience has shown it is less time consuming to control rodents before their numbers get too high, and fewer traps and less bait will be required if control is started early. Many home owners in the Las Vegas and Henderson area will often opt to hire a professional extermination company that is trained to deal with roof rats before the pesky rodents take over their home.
Once the weather starts to cool off here in Las Vegas and Henderson, Roof Rats will be on the move, looking for warmer areas to build nests. Roof rats often construct their nests in attics of homes as they offer protection from the cooler temperatures outside, as well as ample room to nest. These unwelcome house guests can wreak havoc on a home, and any other place they nest due to their destructive nature. These pesky rodents chew on anything from home electrical wiring, to structural beams, drywall, and more. They constantly chew and gnaw just about anything to keep their front teeth from growing too long.
How Roof Rats Get Into Your Home
Roof Rats, as their name implies, prefer living higher off the ground. These vermin rodents can travel via power lines, tree tops, roofs, and even by ground nesting and breeding to create ever growing populations, which can spread out like a plague. If you’re a home owner, or business that’s been infested by Roof Rats, it’s a pretty good bet that homes or businesses around you have the same problem.
Signs of a Roof Rat Problem
If you’re not paying attention, a Roof Rat infestation can go unnoticed for a while, but will eventually manifest itself in one way or another, often with costly repairs to your home or vehicle(s). Understanding the telltale signs of a Roof Rat problem early can help you decide quickly the best solution for your specific issue.
Inspecting Your Home or Business Property. This seems simple enough, but understanding the signs you’re looking for can make this task much easier to identify if you have a problem quickly.
Chew or gnaw marks in or around your homes exterior. Roof Rats will enter your home any way they can. Chew marks and holes on roof vents, soffits, crawlspace vents, siding, garage doors, and HVAC ducting can point to entry into the home by these rodents. Chew and gnaw marks on trees can also point to Roof Rat activity on your property as they like to hang out in the tops of trees. Roof Rats can enter your home through a hole as small as ¾ of an inch, so often a thorough inspection is required.
Signs of nesting. Roof Rats are looking for shelter, especially when nights get cooler. Las Vegas and Henderson residents often will find signs of nesting activity in: BBQ’s, vehicles parked for longer periods, boats, and storage areas. If these rodents take up nesting in one of these areas, they almost always will cause destruction as they can chew through expensive electrical cords, circuits, hoses and more.
Noises in the night. Roof Rats are nocturnal and active during the evening and night hours, as they prefer to move around when there is less human activity. Many customers of Western Exterminator have reported that they hear scratching and moving around in the ceiling/attic areas, as well as walls, and storage areas.
Foul smell. Where Roof Rats lives, they will also die. If you’re smelling a foul smell, often described as a rotten asparagus smell, you may have a Roof Rat infestation. This smell will often get worse when a homes HVAC system is turned on as the smell will circulate throughout a room, or section of the home. It’s notable to say this isn’t always the case depending on what type of heating and cooling system you use.
What to do if you have a Roof Rat Infestation
Rats in general are very hearty and resourceful rodents. Removing basic essentials such as food, water, and shelter are key to making sure your property is not a suitable place for them to live. Keeping pet food secure, garbage cans secure, and cleaning up any fruits and vegetable material will keep them looking for food elsewhere. Roof Rats can survive on very little water, so making sure that your home does not possess a water source is important to keeping them away. Water dishes, bird baths, fountains, leaky sprinklers / irrigation, and even leaky faucets all provide a readily available water source for rats.
Removing the Current Roof Rat population
This can be a tricky endeavor. Many home owners are tempted to use over- the-counter poisons and treatments to get rid rodents from their homes. Using over-the-counter poisons present three real dangers. First, if you have pets and/or children, you must be extremely careful not to inadvertently pose a risk to those family members. Second, if you’re successful in getting the rat(s) to consume the poison, they will most likely return to your home, their nesting place, to die. This often leaves home owners with a putrid smell and the discovery of dead rodents that need to be removed. Third, as a home owner, how can you know for sure that all of the Roof Rats have been eradicated?
Enlisting the Help of a Roof Rat Extermination Professional
Many home owners in the Las Vegas and Henderson area will often opt to hire a professional extermination company that is trained to deal with Roof Rats. These professionals will understand the nesting and feeding habits of this rodent, and know the telltales signs to look for when determining the entry points to your home. It’s this knowledge, along with different removal techniques, that allow a home owner to choose the best option to fit their needs. This makes professional extermination an attractive option for people dealing with Roof Rat infestations.
Along with the removal of the current Roof Rat population, a trained rodent control professional will be able to offer sound advice on how to make sure your home isn’t overrun by these unwelcome house guests again.